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On bad genes and how to detect them (Game from Univ. Utah)

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1 On bad genes and how to detect them (Game from Univ. Utah)
Siguna Mueller PhD student in BMS, Univ. Wyoming Will ask you to be detective to find bad gene. First, some basics.

2 What is DNA? Each cell needs instructions for its role in the body
What do these instructions look like?

3 The instructions come in the form of a molecule called DNA.
DNA encodes a detailed set of plans, like a blueprint for building different parts of the cell Have you seen blueprints before? For what? Instructions are often broken up into parts. E.g. to build a house: electricity, roofing, windows…

4 What is a Gene? Genes are instruction manuals for our body.
They are the directions for building all the proteins. Proteins make our bodies function. Each gene is responsible for its own protein product. How would that relate to our house?

5 What do genes look like? Genes are made of DNA. One strand of DNA
contains many genes. Each cell in our body contains a lot of DNA! How much? The DNA from a single human cell, if stretched out, would be 3 meters long! How long is that?

6 How does all of that DNA fit into a cell?
The DNA is packaged into compact units called chromosomes. Chromosomes are efficient storage units for DNA.

7 How many chromosomes does each cell have?
Each HUMAN cell has 46 chromosomes. All the DNA is organized into two sets of 23 chromosomes (2x23=46 total). We get genes from both our parents That’s why children look both like their mom and dad

8 Remember Every human has the same set of genes. chromosomes
Genes reside on chromosomes. Basic instruction as to how to build a house is the same. But houses are different. How?

9 If we all have the same genes, what makes us different?
The information carried on genes differ slightly from person to person. Different forms of genes (alleles) result in unique traits Examples? 9 chromosomes Simplify: Assume only 1 gene per chromosome

10 Bad Genes Medical Disorders

11 Mutations A mutation is a permanent change to in the genetic material (seen in the DNA sequence). What are the consequences of a such a change? What would that mean for our house?

12 (How) can a gene be responsible for a disease?
Mutations may cause genes to malfunction. This is known as a genetic disorder. How? A gene is mutated when it causes its protein product to malfunction. Do you know an example of a genetic D/O? Neurofibromatosis I (NF1) NF1 affects 1 in 3,000 individuals. D/O of nervous system, causes tumor growth. The gene encodes a protein that is responsible for cell division. Too much cell division leads cancer.

13 Genetic disorders A medical conditions only arises
when the DNA sequence of a gene is mutated. Not all changes in DNA sequences lead to faulty genes. So, how do scientists discover the faulty gene that is responsible for a medical condition? For NF 1: the faulty gene is on chromosome 17

14 How to detect faulty genes
Can we find out, on which chromosome? Once we know which chromosome, scientists can locate the faulty gene on this chromosome. Example: Bad apples Have a distinctive color

15 Key for Discovery Every person with the D/O has this particular faulty gene NO healthy individual has this faulty gene

16 Suppose we only have 9 chromosomes.
Each chromosome carries different information for different people. Indicated by different colors One of the four individual has a faulty gene. Which of the chromosomes is faulty? What and where is the ‘bad color’?

17 Genetic disorders run in families
What does this mean? Does every child get the D/O? How can we find out? Construct a pedigree: Diagram that describes family relationships Shows which family member has the D/O

18 A Pedigree of NF 1 Black circles or squares indicate disease
Can ‘map’ gene to a specific location on the chromosome Know which gene -> this helps for therapy

19 Unaffected Unaffected Unaffected Affected
Other affected The green colored piece in the center is present in all affected individuals The green is absent in individuals who do not have the disorder

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